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SEMA Ignited Takes Off

Ignited 2014 - 062 When an organization as large as SEMA does something that everyone can look at and say, “Yeah, that was really great!” you have to wonder why everyone doesn’t yet have a flying car yet. From the outside, they made it look easy to take the public’s excitement for the SEMA Cruise and channel it to a specific location where it would become a free celebration called “SEMA Ignited”. In reality, it took many years of auto enthusiasts waiting patiently for the show to end so they could catch a glimpse of some of the amazing vehicles to exit the trade-only event. Then it took several more for SEMA to realize that the “Cruise” just wasn’t enough for the public and that they could notch things up another level. Ignited 2014 - 015 Promoted heavily by SEMA and SEMA SAN (SEMA Action Network) during the weeks leading up to the show and at SEMA, many attendees were not aware that the new event was free with their registration and exhibitor fees, plus trade-show participants could bring their displays and vehicles to the property. Awareness slowly built during the week and even if a small percentage of the 60,000 registrants showed up, that combined with the hundreds of local enthusiasts made for one big party! Ignited 2014 - 005 Yes, there were some glitches, including heavy traffic getting to the venue (and therefore a few overheated engines) - but for a first-time presentation, most things seemed to go extremely well. The LINQ High Roller Event Lot had plenty of space for a large stage setup, food areas, food trucks, a couple of thousand displayed vehicles, another 1,000 or so public vehicles and exhibitor’s rigs. Ignited 2014 - 074 The lot is adjacent to Caesar Entertainment’s LINQ Promenade and the LINQ Hotel, and features the Las Vegas High Roller which dominates the skyline with its 40-person-capacity gondolas. It is the world’s largest observation wheel at 550 feet. Ignited 2014 - 071 The first celebrity to arrive was automotive enthusiast and spokeswoman Courtney Hansen, who stayed most of the evening autographing a specially designed SEMA SAN poster. The SEMA Action Network is the organization helmed by Colby Martin that helps to preserve and advance our automotive freedoms, with the motto "Ignited We Stand!" For more information on protecting our automotive passion from government regulations visit Ignited 2014 - 030 Ignited 2014 - 042 Quite a few automotive personalities and well-known car designers were emceeing the various events both on and off-stage. Chip Foose was on the main stage taping the last Overhaulin’ of the season with the reveal of a beautiful Blue and White 1957 2-door Chevrolet. They'd been filming the build all week during SEMA and Ignited was the perfect place to celebrate it's completion! Ignited 2014 - 078 The hosted Cacklefest of the evening got a great feedback from the crowd. Four nostalgic dragsters were started up... each one is supposed to be about 150db (click on the video at the bottom to hear)! Crowds also loved the Burnout Showdown which lasted for only a few minutes but definitely raised some good clouds of black smoke. Ignited 2014 - 036 According to Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO, “SEMA Ignited is an extension of the SEMA Show that will allow exhibiting companies to gain additional media and consumer exposure for the acclaimed vehicles and innovative gear they bring to Las Vegas.” He stated that the event will also serve as the backdrop for nationwide media coverage. As part of that agenda, various aspects of SEMA Ignited were filmed including the introduction of the Top Ten SEMA Battle of the Builders Finalists. They had been chosen out of an initial field of 165 vehicles from 129 builders by the editors of Super Street, Hot Rod, and Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off Road Magazines. Ignited 2014 - 037 The Final Three Best Builders and their cars moved to the stage for the vote - that became more suspenseful due to restarts in the filming because of jet noise and the loud “train horns” from the big trucks in the viewing lot. Kyle Tucker, with his 1969 Chevy Camaro was finally announced Ultimate Builder of SEMA Battle of the Builders 2014, with the Ringbrothers’ 1966 Chevy Chevelle and Jeff Kinsey’s 1932 Ford 4-door Sedan also receiving awards. The TV special will be aired in March of 2015. Ignited 2014 - 081 Ignited 2014 - 012 Looking around at the crowds during the evening, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and all had plenty to do between the giveaways, amazing vehicles to look at, great food trucks, crazy-big-ferris-wheel-thing and all the car-related stage activity. It's a bonus that all is within walking distance of the Las Vegas Strip - plus being convenient to the Las Vegas Monorail if you didn’t happen to drive one of those show cars to the event. Ignited 2014 - 051 SEMA will take place next year from November 3-6 so mark your calendar for next year's 2nd Annual SEMA Ignited event, Friday, November 6th, 2015. Enjoy the video and gallery of the event below: id  27986

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